By Caitlin Chciuk
October 4th, 2012
Louis Lopez and Christopher Rex are creating Lock Haven University History. The two will be the first students to co-direct an original play that they wrote together – SAYS WHO?.
Lopez, a junior theatre major, and Rex, a sophomore English major, will be co-directing their original work, “My Window to Yours,” next spring. However, they are getting a head start planning for the show.
The play, a comedy, tells the story of Jerry, a young man who has communicated primarily with a puppet, Nez, for years. Jerry’s sister, Becca, and his roommate, Nigel, are extremely concerned about his social anxiety, so the two decide to take matters into their own hands and set Jerry up on a blind date — without Nez. Jerry falters without his furry companion, and a series of very interesting events ensues.
So where did Lopez and Rex come up with the idea for the show?
From the start, Rex said, “We knew that we wanted to write a show together.” They took an idea that Lopez originally had for a graphic novel in which the citizens of a town communicated through puppets. The idea was tweaked so that it fit the style of a play, and the show took off from there.
“We didn’t know where it was going, what it would become…” Rex said. “We would text each other in the middle of the night saying a line, and then we’d go ‘oh my goodness, that’s a line!’”
Lopez and Rex believe that their show is “the perfect definition of what a collaborative play should be.” The two alternated writing, but then, as a team, went over everything they’d written. If there was a clashing of ideas, the two would explain their sides and work together to figure out a compromise. The two explained that they made the decision to co-direct the show because they co-wrote it.“There’s always that idea that one person takes over, and that was absolutely the exact opposite case here,” Lopez said.
“When we wrote it, we were already envisioning it,” Rex added.
They knew throughout the whole writing process that they wanted to propose it as the spring studio show, and after they got the definite “yes,” they were ecstatic to have the opportunity to see their ideas come to life.Though the play will not be in production until next semester, the two decided to do workshops to see how their ideas will translate to the stage. At the workshops, the show is performed on a very minimal scale. The actors, who are different in every workshop, are given almost no direction; that way, Lopez and Rex can see how different people interpret different characters. At the end of each workshop, the audience members are asked if they have any feedback for the directors.
The workshops are free and open to the public. The next workshop will be held on Sunday, October 14, at 6 PM in Sloan 321. Lopez and Rex are excited to see where the workshops will lead them, and in turn, see the audience’s reactions. As far as what people can expect aside from laughs, the directors believe that viewers“[aren’t] going to expect to feel a complete assurance of happiness and friendship and love.”
This heartfelt comedy, Lopez says, “will cause people to reflect on their own relationships with the people around them.”